U.S. Statement on Resolution “Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance”

Human Rights Council 25th Session - Geneva, Switzerland

Delivered by David Sullivan

The United States has consistently sought to support practical and concrete efforts to end racism and racial discrimination wherever it occurs. We discussed some of these efforts the United States is pursuing domestically just a few weeks ago here in Geneva with the Human Rights Committee, and we look forward to discussing them in more detail in a few months’ time with the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Our priority, as we have made clear for some years, is to help ensure that all states live up to their obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and implement practical measures to fulfill the promise of that Convention and other instruments barring racial discrimination. Unfortunately, we are concerned that the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance does little to contribute to forward movement on such practical measures.

Moreover, as in the past, we cannot endorse all of the provisions of the current mandate. The mandate contains elements we believe neither reflect international law nor advance appropriate policies. For instance, we believe it is critically important to balance necessary legal protections for freedom of expression with solutions to the problem of incitement.

It is, therefore, with sincere regret that the United States must again disassociate from consensus on this resolution. We will continue to look for ways to balance our differences with the overriding goal we all share to eliminate racism in all its forms, wherever it occurs. We are proud of the efforts we have made in that regard and will continue to seek consensus on practical ways to make progress to achieve that worthy objective.

- Cross posted from the U.S. Mission to Geneva

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